The Magic of Smyrna

Next month will be the 100th anniversary of the “Catastrophe of Smyrna”, the conquering of the city by the forces of Kemal Ataturk, the great fire and the destruction of the Greek quarter, and the beginning of deportation of the Greeks to Greece.

Until the catastrophe Smyrna (Izmir today) was a cosmopolitan port city, where lived together Greeks, Turks, Armenians, Arabs, Gypsies, Jews and Europeans. These peoples traded among themselves and with the world in goods, but they also exchanged ideas and musical motifs, and these were assimilated into rich and fascinating music.

I made a playlist of 21 pre-1922 “Smirnaika” songs, Greek songs from the west coast of Asia Minor (Turkey), including Constantinople (Istanbul) and the islands. The performances are contemporary and I hope you will feel through them the special charm of these musical diamonds of Smyrna.

Link to playlist

2 Responses to “The Magic of Smyrna”

  1. Christos Says:

    Hey, where have you been?
    I really missed you!
    Great article and playlist.
    I’ve always wondered how you have so much knowledge of Greek music and history.
    Keep up the great work.

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